Eh I don't know, I think this might be one of those things in which nostalgia has got the better of us. Don't get me wrong CE is a great game, but I think it's not exactly going to hold up. Maybe it's just me but I always felt that a good portion of the people who slammed the Halo series after CE were doing so for the "hipster" factor. I mean when Halo first came out it was an upstart franchise, really wasn't on anyones radar in development as it had flipped platforms and even game style, but it was sick when released. Then it got popular and Halo 2's release was the biggest deal in gaming up to that point. I honestly can't think of any single game that received more hub-bub about it's release prior to Halo 2. So it want "mainstream" if you'll stay with my music analogy for a second. I mean Halo: CE had been huge in it's own right but the fact that it was the launch of the franchise and wasn't online somewhat made it unable to suffer "It was better before..." fate. From that point on Halo: CE was regarded by gaming elitists as the best thing since sliced bread and all other Halo's were drivel for Frat boys and kids. Basically it's the whole "That band was so much better before they went all mainstream and commercial" argument. Was Halo: CE really that much better then the rest of the franchise? Maybe, but I think not a lot of true thought goes into it. I think a lot of gamers simply look to stating it as being the best as a quick path to being "hardcore" (which is another thing I could rant on but I shall spare you).
Basically what I'm pulling from my incoherent rambling is that it takes a very, very, very, special game to hold up over time. And to be honest it takes a pretty simple game too. Games that broke barriers blew our minds at the time, but what they revolutionized tends to be the thing other games pick up the torch and run with, so they lose their luster as they age. I played Goldeneye for N64 last year a couple of times, "timeless" I thought, I gotta say I regret playing it now. Goldeneye is a great game, at a certain time in history, it doesn't hold up too well today and as a result somewhat tainted my fond memories. Essentially what I want to get at is I hope we're careful for what we're wishing for, I mean this could be a great addition, but it might not be too.
I can understand where you are coming from and I believe that the majority of people that say this are doing it because it was cool to say at the time. I will even stick my guns when saying that nostalgia is probably the biggest thing for me about this rumor. I will buy it regardless of 40-60$ pricetag that will follow. The thing is, is that the multiplayer WAS good in Halo: CE because of the LAN parties you could have and the PC version allowing for custom maps etc. Does anyone remember the Halo: CE tournament on G4 back in the day? It ended up being on Blood Gulch and the spawn killing was immense. Still fun. I have loved the Halo series since it came out and I have played every game as well as reading all but 1 book about the story. This will be more of a obligation more than an "oh that's cool" game for me.
I can honestly say that I didn't like Halo 2 as much as the rest because of the switch to be more mainstream. Look at the generation pull that attemtped with the music score, multiplayer beef with dual weilding. Still, the game was fun and enough to make me buy Halo 3.
One thing just came to mind though. People have being saying that they have been wanting a remake of Final Fantasy VII ever since the Playstation 2 came out. ( maybe even before ) Would you say the same thing about that game and it's predecessor?